Working with patients in both inpatient and outpatient scenarios has provided me with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate a commitment to patient centred care. Over time I have worked with patient groups across a wide range of demographics including children, adults, neonates, and individuals with learning disabilities [SCC110:1, SC222c6:4]. In each scenario, I strived to treat patients as an individual and respect their autonomy at all times. Where appropriate, I adapted my communications to best suit the patient. For example, patients attending EEG clinics often presented with complex learning disabilities which impeded their ability to communicate. At the start of my training I found this quite daunting. I struggled to find a balance between effectively delivering information to patients without appearing patronising. In order to address this, I sought out relevant training led by a specialist learning disabilities nurse [SCC110:1]. With repeated clinical exposure, I felt that I was able to gradually develop my communication skills in a way that suited the patient as an individual. In doing so, I have ensured that I have treated each patient fairly and free from any prejudice [SCC110:2, SCC110:1].
Despite ample exposure to various EEG types [SP S222c7:3, SP SC222c8:3, SP SC222c8:4], I have identified some gaps in my learning. For example, currently I am assisting with ambulatory recordings. Although I have developed my clinical and technical skills, such that I am able to successfully apply and remove the ambulatory device, I ensure that I seek supervision for this [SPS222c8:8]. This is because I recognise that a seemingly small technical error can result in a malfunction, meaning that data has not been captured. This would ultimately delay the diagnostic process and cause undue stress and inconvenience to the patient. By seeking supervision in such instances, I ensure that I work within the limits of my personal competence and therefore minimise any undue harm to the patient. Moving forward, I am also aiming to develop my confidence in reporting full ambulatory recordings. I have worked closely with my training supervisor to devise a plan which will make this achievable over the coming weeks [SPS222c8:10].
When engaging in clinical duties, I ensure that I work within the remit of relevant protocols and departmental guidelines [SPS222c5:6]. When performing nerve conduction studies, I recognise that it is essential that the procedures are backed by sufficient scientific evidence. Currently, in my department there has been widespread discussion on the categorisation of carpal tunnel severity. This is following innovative research which was presented at a conference held by my professional body- the Association of Neurophysiological Scientists. Following this, a department wide study was undertaken. The results of this were presented at a staff meeting. This provided me with an excellent opportunity to engage in discussion and offer constructive feedback on the outcome of the study and its future applications [SCC110:22]. I feel that I have progressed over the years in that I now have a firmer understanding of carpal tunnel grading and as a result I feel confident to appraise our current protocols in line with scientific research. Overall, engaging with scientific conferences have been an excellent learning and development opportunity which have not only allowed me to keep my scientific and technical knowledge up to date but has also empowered me to use this newfound knowledge at a departmental level to influence change [SCC110:22].
In addition to my engagement with scientific conferences, I have had ample opportunity to work with colleagues across a range of disciplines. I have actively participated in quarterly paediatric multi-disciplinary meetings [SPS200:10, SCC110:8]. These have included paediatric doctors, nurses and neurology specialists. The meetings have provided opportunity for complex case-based discussions. It has been insightful to hear about patients as they have progressed through the patient pathway and to learn about the pathophysiology underlying their conditions as well how their treatment is managed. Additional examples of working with a diverse range of colleagues include my regular engagement with nurses and healthcare assistants on wards when performing in-patient EEG recordings to provide high quality patient care as part of a team [SPS200:10, SPS110:8]. My work with colleagues has not only been collaborative but has also taken a leadership approach. In my second year of the STP, an apprentice had joined us. In order to facilitate her training, I have actively helped her by teaching her the 10-20 head measuring procedure. I have also had the opportunity to supervise her in a clinical setting. Being a student myself, I had really enjoyed the process and was keen to engage with fellow students who undertook rotations in our department. I was careful to ensure that I applied the appropriate attitudes and skills of a competent teacher, in that I was approachable and supportive rather than judgemental or inaccessible [SCC110:10]. Separately to this, I have contributed to the education of fellow colleagues at yearly departmental away days. Most recently, I had come across an interesting case study which outlined a rare non-epileptic syndrome (Hyperekplexia). Using this case study, I created a presentation which was shared with colleagues in an attempt to facilitate their learning [SCC110:10].